Live from Sundance Film Festival Jimmy Im Tells Us What’s Trending at the Internationally Renowned, Celebrity-Packed Festival
Sundance Film Festival (since 1978) is notoriously one of the most celebrity-studded events in the world and this year, standards were raised and expectations were exceeded in Park City, Utah. If parka-dwarfed celebrities weren’t making cameos at private events, they were getting wild at infamous parties. Oh, and there were hundreds of film screenings, and insanely good ones we might add. We headed to Sundance Film Festival for the first weekend to see what all the hype was for 2014 (Sundance ends January 26).
The coolest sponsored promotion: Who wasn’t at the AirBnb Haus this weekend? Airbnb.com, the world’s most trendy marketplace to book unique accommodations, took over the Blue Iguana restaurant on Main Street, transforming it into a cozy, ski-lodge-esque community workspace that felt like, well…one of their hip properties. There was a rotating door of young filmmakers, actors, creative types, and film lovers who shacked up with free coffee, snacks, vintage board games, and free Wi-Fi while some notable events included talks from director Morgan Spurlock, Kweku Mandela (Nelson Mandela’s grandson), comedy by Seth Herzog and Kevin Pollack and performance by Belle & Sebastian. Filmmakers were even taking advantage of great Airbnb homes and estates, like Zal Batmanglij, director of The East.
Keep reading after the jump and find out about the best films, the best parties, and the gayest brunch…
The most buzzing flicks: If you were a director/producer/actor in a premiering film, it was hard to get a ticket to your own screening. This year’s films were so buzzing, they almost sold out immediately, and even staff involved in the making of the movies couldn’t get tickets to their own film as well! The movies that were most talked about include Life After Beth (with Audrey Plaza, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, and Dane Dehaan) and Cooties with Elijah Wood. Others included Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here and coming-of-age comedy Ping Pong Summer, directed by Michael Tully with Susan Sarandon and Amy Sedaris.
The gayest brunch: The notorious OutFest Queer Brunch (sponsored by HBO) at Grubsteak Restaurant was a hit this past Sunday and attendees will surprisingly agree the event dished out great food (as opposed to the previous years when guests could only stomach the free booze). Almost every “gay-lister” was in attendance supporting the LGBT filmmaker community, who came to mingle and exclusively preview the much-buzzed, new show Looking on HBO.
The Swaggiest freebies: What was even harder than getting a ticket to a screening or private event? Gaining entrance to the “swag” lounges, where top companies gifted celebrities with free product, from clothing to high-end cosmetics. New, fashionable underwear label ExOfficio doled out sexy boxer briefs, and Dove offered total hair makeovers to celebrities and film folk with smart haircuts and shaves by celebrity stylists, promoting their new Dove Oxygen and Expert Shave lines. Kellan Lutz picked up a pair of Cat Footwear boots for his brother, while the trendy shoe company had to ship a pair to hunky Joe Manganiello later that day (they didn’t have his enormous shoe size of 14 on hand!).
The most exclusive events: Sundance is just as famous for its exclusive parties as it is with films. HBO threw a Game of Thrones event at Clamjumper, where Bridesmaids‘ adorable Chris O’ Dowd was tearing up the dance floor. Up on Main Street at Waldorf Astoria Park City, a private cocktail event for Life After Beth included starlets like Audrey Plaza (who was fighting a cold!) and Dane Dehaan (in the next Spiderman film) with wife Anna Wood (in the upcoming show Reckless on CBS) and HRC’s Equality Unscripted event at Silver brought all the cute gay boys and girls out like Lance Bass and his crew.